Events

Hello MoDers,

Welcome to my first blog of 2020. I hope that the festive season treated you well, and that you have plenty of hobby aspirations for the year. This post is in fact about plans I have set so far, as well as a brief write up of my first battle this year.

At the end of 2019 I joined a ‘Facebook’ group for a number of ‘Kings of War’ players based in and around London. We use this page and a dedicated ‘What’s App’ group to plan and organise games at venues around the city. The main venue that I have attended since joining is ‘Bad Moon Café’, near Borough, South London. The group is very friendly and we exchange ideas and hobby advice as well as playing games.

The Facebook group page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/414256149261614/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

If you are interested in visiting the ‘Bad Moon Café’, their website can be found at: https://www.badmooncafe.co.uk/

My record since 3rd edition ‘Kings of War’ is not great, my games have been closer, but as well as still making poor strategic decisions, I have been having phenomenally bad dice rolls. In the game I played on Thursday I was averaging 2 to 4 hits and 0 wounds for most of my rolls, both in ranged and melee attack. The game was fun, although the noise build up in the café was quite distracting. I find that I am always learning things in this game, we had a brief discussion about a unit’s front arc and line of sight and where it is measured from, which was eventually solved by the group members.

My opponent Matt Gee’s Ogres are a stunningly painted collection that is exquisitely based along a piratical theme. I haven’t fared too well against Ogres in my games, and hoped my undead units would stick around a little longer than usual, but in my eagerness to get into a brawl, I let my units get flanked, something that I let happen far too often. Matt is as skilled a gamer as he is a painter, and it did not take him long to pound my skeletons into dust. I did at least manage to claim one of the four objectives, but wasted my ‘Idol of Shobik’ to do so. After the game Matt gave me some tips in relation to my ranged units and the use of ‘Surge’ that I will try to remember to put to use next time.

The events that I am hoping to go to this year include a number of tournaments, both single and doubles, and with any luck I’ll make it to SALUTE 2020.

1, ‘Stane of Blood’ a singles event of up to 1495 pts being held at Woodmansterne village hall, Carshalton, SM5 3, United Kingdom – 25th January 2020 – https://www.facebook.com/events/woodmansterne-village-hall-carshalton-sm5-3-united-kingdom/stane-of-blood-i/1171951633009988/ – I plan to take my Empire of Dust with me to this event, and am close to have decided upon my army selection, which will definitely contain a unit of ‘Guardians’ and possibly ‘Shobik’.

2, ‘Franticon’ is a 3 day event at Dark Sphere in Shepherd’s Bush Megastore, Unit 8, W12 Shopping Centre, W12 8PP London, United Kingdom – 6th to 8th March 2020 – https://www.facebook.com/events/dark-sphere-shepherds-bush-megastore/mantic-franticon-2020/375353553116306/  – Over the course of the weekend there are a number of ‘Mantic Games’, based tournaments and hobby events. I am planning to take part in three events:

Friday March 6th – Vanguard (Ante Bellum) – I hope to take a ‘Rhordian’ war-band to this event, but still have not actually played a game of Vanguard since it came out in 2018.

Saturday March 7th – KoW doubles (KoH) 2000 pts (1000 pts each) – I am preparing to take a ‘Force of Nature’ army to the doubles event, since I received a batch of ‘Treemen’ in the ‘Halflings and friends’, Kickstarter by ‘TTCombat’, I have been itching to use them. I don’t currently have a partner for this event, I was hoping my Neil Dennison who partnered me last year would be up for it, but we seem to have lost touch.

Sunday March 8th – KoW singles (Erit Bellum) 1650 pts – For the third tournament of this event, I will be taking my ‘Empire of Dust’. I will decide upon my troop selection after ‘Stane of Blood’ and probably just add an extra unit whilst tweaking the others.

3, Shroud of the Reaper – La Calavera’s time – a 2020 pts singles tournament which is held at Freemantle Hall, 51-75 Bexley High St, Bexleyheath, Bexley, DA5 1AA – 21st March 2020 – https://www.facebook.com/events/freemantle-hall-51-75-bexley-high-st-bexleyheath-bexley-da5-1aa/shroud-of-the-reaper-la-calaveras-time/396843571225954/ – Again my ‘Empire of Dust’, will make an appearance and I hope to make good use of Mark and Grant’s special character.

4, Jack of Herts – School fund raiser – a 2000 pts singles tournament which is held at Aycliffe Drive, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 6LJ, United Kingdom – 13th June 2020 – https://www.facebook.com/events/521036865375109/ – Other than making sure I could make the event, I have not thought much about which army I will take, but as I will be most familiar with my Empire of Dust by this time It will probably be the one I take. Paul and Matt always host a great event and I am looking forward to making the trip to Hemel.

5, Clash of Kings – 10th to 11th October 2020 – Firestorm Games, 15 Trade St, Cardiff, CF10 5DT – https://www.manticgames.com/games/events/tickets/kings-of-war-tickets/clash-of-kings-tournament-2020/ – I went to my first ‘Clash of Kings’ last year at ‘Element Games’, in Stockport, last year. It was a really well run and exciting event. Getting away from London and having a weekend of war-gaming was brilliant. However it was not cheap, the event ticket, train fare and hotel rate all mounted up. With the ticket costing £70, I will need to think about whether I can attend this year.

6, Salute 2020 – 18th April 2020 – Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Docks, London E16 1XL – http://www.salute.co.uk/salute/salute-2020/ Not specifically a gaming event, although there are various participation/demonstration games going on, SALUTE is a hobby event where sculptors, developers and stockist come to display their new products and sell all sorts of gaming goodies. I cannot always make it due to work commitments, but I definitely hope to this year.

Nearly 2020, time for a project update

Hello MoDers,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

2019 has not been a great blogging year for me for various reasons. On the bright side however my hobby opportunities have increased since becoming involved in the Kings of War tournament community. I have taken part in tournaments both local and away from London, which in turn has driven my project completion rate up a notch, so that I can have a greater choice of units from my chosen Kings of War armies. Currently I am collecting:

Empire of Dust, League of Rhordia and Forces of Nature.

I have not played with the former two since the release of 3rd edition, because I have been focusing upon my Empire of Dust army.

As this December 31st this will be my final post of 2019, so I’d like to share with you my progress on my current painting projects.

Sir Jeffrey Hudson:

Prior to the release of Kings of War 3rd edition I was toying with the idea of taking part in the whole 3 day ‘Franticon’ event in March 2020. Having just bought the ‘Ice and Iron’ rules expansion for Vanguard I was really intrigued to play with a ‘League of Rhordia’ faction. I wanted to represent each warrior type in the war band as a Halfling, I have a perfect Captain, some great House Hold Guards and even a Mage or two in mind.

Having been given some of the war bears from the TTCombat ‘Halfling and Friends’ kickstarter, I thought they would be a perfect mount for a Halfling Honour Guard. With the idea firmly in my head, I found a suitable Rooster rider from a TAG kickstarter and went to work. With some cutting and filing and plenty of green stuff, along with some plastic confectionery from my bits box, I made some good progress.

As tradition dictates I bought a bottle of ale to drink whilst I hobbied, the beer itself ‘JHB Bitter’ from ‘Oakham Ales’, gave me some inspiration as to what I should call the fella when he was finished: “known as “Lord Minimus” Sir Jeffrey Hudson, also, was an adventurer, courtier and duellist in the service of King Charles I, he was only 3′ 6″ tall but his modest strength was more than made up for in character”, I decided that this was a great back story for my Halfling honour guard.

Monolith:

Sadly when 3rd edition Kings of War was released I had to wait for the new ‘Uncharted Empire’ supplement to come out, to find out that the ‘League of Rhordia,’ took quite a hit, and lost a large amount of the units it boasted in 2nd edition. It is still a very capable army to use and thankfully kept the ‘Aralez’ one of the things that add character to the list. Sadly the Halfling presence was greatly reduced, which put a halt in my progress with my ‘Halfling/Rhordian’ war band. I do not know if the changes in 3rd edition Kings of War have transferred over to Vanguard yet, so I may still be able to go ahead with this idea at the ‘Franticon’ tournament at ‘Dark Sphere’ in London this coming March.

With the release of 3rd edition Kings of War, my Empire of Dust army also faced some changes. One of these was the evolution of the ‘Monolith’. Before it was a kind of scenery piece, that you could place during the set up phase. It could boost the spell casting of your army’s magic users, if they were within 6 inches of it. Although I had a model to use for this, I couldn’t work out what to do with it, so never added it to my army list.

The new Monolith is an entirely different beast. It can move, has real staying power and once per shooting phase can cast Surge (8) upon any EoD unit within 24 inches. I have used it a few times and it works very well. I decided my current model needed a lot of work to keep up with its new role as a Titan. I went to work with my converting kit and a new pack of ‘Mantic’ insect swarms. I’m quite happy with the assembly so far, but still have a few more details to add.

Behemoth:

Another EoD unit to be visited by the change fairy was the ‘Reanimated Behemoth’, which is now on chariot based monster. It no longer has the option to take a mini catapult, but can be given the ‘Drain Life’ spell, which has less range, but is a really useful ranged attack option which I believe fits the fluff of an undead army much better. I had already begun to tire of my ‘Ghostly Stegadon’ miniature which was one of the first EoD units I painted. I wanted something different. I had already been painting an old ‘Games Workshop’ ‘Tomb Scorpion’ to be a scorpion husk within my army. However that unit has been removed entirely from the EoD list. Straight away I decided that with a few changes the scorpion would make an excellent Behemoth. I had a vision of a giant scorpion with a pile of skull trophies mounted upon its back, shooting death rays from its eyes. I had to attempt to recreate that idea, and am quite happy with the way it has turned out.

I’d like to say thank you for reading my posts and sticking with me throughout what has been a tough year. I have a few blogging plans for next year and hopefully more hobby opportunities. Work seems to be settling down a bit, so hopefully my anxiety and depression won’t have so much of an impact on me in 2020. Happy New year!

Passing of the Shroud

Hello MoDers, with a combination of this heat sapping my will to write anything, and going on holiday only a day after the ‘Shroud of the Reaper’ tournament took place, my post event report is somewhat delayed.

In summary I had a really fun day in Bexley, taking part in a really well-run tournament and getting in four games along the way. A lot of work had gone into making the gaming experience a pleasure from well themed gaming tables to personalised dice trays. There was some spectacular armies on display it was clear to see that a lot of effort and no small amount of talent, had gone into their completion.

My Rhordians faced off against the ‘Forces of Nature’, ‘Varangur’, ‘Undead’, and ‘Dwarfs’. Sadly I did not manage to achieve even one victory in fact I finished in last place. However I did achieve my main goal of not getting tabled, and more importantly I had a lot of fun.

Army List

For many years I have been a Dwarf player, and became very skilled in using the gun line tactic that many Dwarven armies use to great success. One of the reasons I had for a change of army when I took up ‘Kings of War’, was to have a mobile army that actually moved toward the enemy without getting flanked, isolated and wiped out.

As I mentioned in the ‘Counter Charge’ podcast ‘Rhordia Revealed’ the league has a very good range of mobile units from Halfling Ranger Cavalry to the mighty Honour Guard. I set my mind on having a mainly mounted army. In Clash of Kings 2018 Rhordia was gifted two fun looking formations. I’m not a great fan of formations per se, as I love to create my armies free hand, and would hate Kings of war to take the Warhammer Battle Scrolls route. Army construction os one of my favourite part of the hobby, it links in very well with fluff. However as an option they seemed interesting.

The formation I was interested in was the ‘Thoroughbred Mounts’ which consists of a Regiment of Halfling knights, two troops of Halfling knights and a mounted Halfling master sergeant. As well as providing four units of nimble light cavalry the gained the added bonus of 1 inch to their movement and the Hatred special rule. I really wanted to try this out. Sadly I did not read the formation set up correctly when I went through the book, and thought that it was 1 regiment, 1 troop and a Master sergeant. it was only when there were 25 hours left until the army list had to be submitted, that I noticed my error, I had no more Halfling knight miniatures at my disposal, my draft list needed a total overhaul.

With only a week left until the tournament I had to think fast. In response to an earlier blog, by one of the event organisers, Grant Alexander, the suggestion of using the 25% allowance for allies. I now had to seriously consider this option. I still have my Warhammer Fantasy Empire, High Elf and Dwarf armies as well as a Kings of War Empire of Dust army, as Rhordia is a neutral army either of these could have come to my aid. As mentioned earlier my preference was always for the Dwarves, and they have some really great units at their disposal. On Twitter @Thunder_Ox suggested I brought in a solid shooting unit, in response to the same blog. A colleague at work, Neil Dennison, who is quite au fait with the Kings of War Dwarves and he suggested a unit of Dwarf Rangers with a Ranger Captain for inspiring and possible a unit of Earth Golems for added strength. With the models at my disposal, this was a viable option and the one I went for in the end.

My completed army list looked like this:

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Rhor’s Lunch Wagon:

Duke on Ancient Winged Aralez (Mind Fog and Blade of Slashing)

Honour Guard Horde (Chalice of Wrath)

Honour Guard Horde (Staying Stone)

Battle Shrine

Halfling Knights Regiment (Hammer of Measured Force)

Halfling Iron Beast

Mounter Halfling Sorcerer (Wind Blast, Drain Life, Myrddin’s Amulet)

Halfling Howitzer

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Dwarf Ranger Captain

Dwarf Ranger Regiment

Earth Elemental Horde

I had not realised at the time of submission that the staying stone had already been nerfed and now only strengthened the units waver level and not their breaking point. I had chosen this item in-order to keep the Honour Guard in the fight longer as they had themselves been nerfed in the Clash of Kings 2018, leaving Rhordia with very few units that can take a hit. Had I read this part of the Errata before making final selection, I believe I would have re though the selection. My other post game tournament thought on this list is that I should have selected the Volley Gun over the Howitzer, as indirect fire was not really required in these games, and the Howitzer which is pretty hit or miss was only effective in one out of my four games.

On the day I was most impressed by the units of Honour Guard which are pretty much a paper tiger, if they get the charge, they hit hard and with a large amount of attacks, there are not many units that can stand after these guys have struck them. Throughout the day these chaps wiped out a horde of Earth Elementals in one hit and a Horde of Brock Riders in another. I just need to find a way to keep them in the game once they themselves have been charged. My most disappointing units were the Howitzer as stated and the Duke on Aralez Ancient, but this is largely because I did not really know what to do with him.

Conclusion

At the end of the day I learned several things, the first is to really get to know how your army works, practice and practice so that you don’t spend a lot of the game making errors because you don’t know the best way to set up or how best to manoeuvre your troops. Sadly I do not get to play very often so I am not sure how to achieve this.

Get used to and do not forget the chess clock, at the beginning of the day I was more preoccupied with not forgetting to click the clock at the end of my turn, determined not to accidentally run out of time. By the end of the day, I was quite tired and regularly forgot to tap out.

Bring spare equipment. I thought I was pretty prepared with spare movement trays, pens, army lists and card cut outs to use as proxy units to balance upon hills and other difficult terrain. However during my first game my tape measure broke as the metal tip came off and the tape disappear inside the casing. Thankfully my opponent was prepared and allowed me to use his spare not only in that game, but for the rest of the tournament. Thank you very much Steven Pearce.

During the game it might be a good idea not to assist your opponent by setting up a pathway of individual characters for a strong unit to smash through and over run into the flank of one of your valuable regiments. Whilst my mounted mage was busy blowing back a unit of Naiad Wyrmriders, I took my eye off the ball and left him within charge range, allowing them to plough through the mage and the reaper special character and into the flank of my Halfling Knight regiment who crumbled under the onslaught. Two lessons there, be less impetuous and concentrate on what you are doing.

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I would like to thank my opponents from the day for 4 great games of Kings of War: George Harris, Alistair Austin, Dan Woodley and Steven Pearce. I’d like to thank Daniel Read for pre-tournament practice. And I’d also like to thank Mark Cunningham and Grant Alexander and the rest of the ‘Bexley Reaper Wargaming Culb’ for making the tournament possible. I’d also like to thank Mantic for softening the sting of coming last by sponsoring the wooden spoon prize. In all I had a great first tournament.

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To Bexley with Rhordia

Hello MoD’ers I hope that this sunny Saturday finds you well. I am a little tired this morning as I was up in the early hours guesting in the ‘Kings of War’ pod cast ‘Counter Charge’ it was an episode aimed at revealing the League of Rhordia. I was asked to speak about how the fluff based around Rhordia inspires my army composition. Although I was quite tired it was a fun experience, and I think you’ll enjoy listening when it comes out. I want to thank Daniel Read for recommending me and Mark Zielinski and the guys for allowing me to contribute.

As I said about two blogs ago, I am due to take a part in a Kings of War tournament. Although I have not yet managed to squeeze in a game, to shake out the rust and remind myself of the rules, I have at least decided which army I am taking. The decision was between ‘League of Rhordia’ and ‘Empire of Dust’. Although I have had more gaming success with the forces of the Pharaoh I find that the diversity of the Rhordian army list allows more fun with both army selection and in painting and preparing the army I eventually take.  So with that decided I had to think about the type of force to take.

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The next decision was army composition. What type of army should I take? Should I go with a balanced forced?  Take a mainly infantry based army or perhaps side that is strong in cavalry. My main reason for entering the tournament is the opportunity to play four games in one day, and that temptation close so to home was too much to up on. I am not going with any aspirations of being crowned tournament champion, for me this will all be about fun, and I going to select an army with this in mind. The final decision also depends upon what I can get ready in time for July 21st 2018. Although I was hoping to go with hordes of Human and Halfling infantry, it is just not feasible, so I am going with a smaller paint load and opting for the cavalry option.

The actual army I will take is still in the decision making process, but I will add smaller blogs whilst it takes shape. Until then however here are some photos of the army in preparation:

Salute 18 & Reaper shouds

Hello MoDers,

I am sorry for such a long gap since my last post, in which I also apologised for long absence. I have not had a great deal of hobby to write about to be fair, but that is about to change.

I don’t recall if I told you about my recent experiences, I broke my right (painting) hand in November.  In December I had shoulder surgery due to an old sporting injury, same side, so not real use out of my dominant arm for a while. Then just as I was recovering, coming back to strength, I contracted pneumonia and ended up in hospital, you could say my paining/gaming mojo was completely wiped out as I had no absolutely no motivation to pick up a brush or scatter any dice in anger.

As I began to recover for a second time, I decided I had to do something to get back in the game. First thing I did was to buy a ticket for ‘Salute 2018’ which is on Saturday 14th April. I’m hoping my visit there will inspire me to climb back upon my hobby horse. I will also write a report of my day there for your delectation.

The second act in reclaiming my pastime was to enter a ‘Kings of War’ tournament (Shourd of the Reaper by Bexley Reapers). I feel it is a bold move as it will force me to accomplish several things. The first, which is quite important, is to re-learn the rules, as I was not a regular player in the first place, and the last game I played was in September 2017, I do not have the greatest memory, I always forget rules that can benefit my play, and often struggle to remember exactly how things like movement work, I often slip back to a default setting which is basically the ‘Warhammer Fantasy 6th Edition’ which is the one I got most play time with. So I need to have a re-read of the KoW rule book, watch some of those recorded games that get published on ‘YouTube’, and get in as many practice games at ‘Hackney Area Gaming Enthusiast’ (HATE) as I can. I need to do all of this before 21st July, so wish me luck.

Another tournament requirement is to have a 2000 point KoW army ready for that date. My two armies: ‘League of Rhordia’ and ‘Empire of Dust’ as about 800 point fully painted, which leaves me 1200 points of painting to go between now and July, nothing like a tight deadline for a procrastinator like me. This task leaves me with a decision, do I take my characterful, but not very successful ‘Rhordians’ or the more deadly, but oh so much bone painting require skeleton army. I am open to suggestion:

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Squire Gordon Zola of the League of Rhordia

Happy February MoDers, hope the year is going well for you.

I have not played many games this year. In fact the games of ‘Kings of War’ and of ‘Frost Grave’ that I wrote about in January are about it so far. I have however been able to catch up on my painting. I have a number of incomplete projects (what hobbyist doesn’t?) so I decided to knuckle down and get on with it. My ‘kings of war’ army is taking a bit of time to complete. I just don’t seem able to stop myself from getting distracted by new paint jobs.

So I have decided to start small, and work my way up. What could be better that a character who’s been left in a state of under-coat for too long. Introducing ‘Squire Gordon Zola’, one of the four leaders from my ‘League of Rhordia’ faction in the ‘Kings of War’ campaign I’m taking part in at ‘H.A.T.E club’. Zola represents the Halfling leadership and has risen to a level equivalent to the Human Barons. He shares responsibility for the city of Ciabatta with Baron Pence ( who’s family fortunes are not what they used to be). With this model completed the last of the leaders will be ready to take to the field of battle.

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The colour scheme for my Halflings is blue and purple, the house colours of House Zola. His family emblem is the Rooster, I needed to include these elements to the miniature I have chosen to represent the Squire. The beauty I decided upon was sculpted by the talented Alex Huntley of ‘Warploque miniatures’ and comes from his ‘Battle for Troll Bridge’, starter box set.

When I begin a paint job I like to undercoat in a light brown, tan coloured paint, which I then wash, at the moment I use ‘Army Painter’ Strong tone wash. I find it brings out a lot of the features on the figure. I then stare at; and contemplate which colours will go where. Once I have decided upon that I get down to the primary colours.

These then get washed to add tone and depth, then I layer different shades of the main colours until I’m happy with the look. I follow up with some shading and high-lighting. This is quite a lengthy process, which is one reason that I take so long to finish an army. I don’t claim to be a master painter, I know that I am not, but I am pleased with the final look. Here are the four leaders from my League of Rhordian army in all their finished glory:

Duke Brock Wurst

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Baroness Rose Thorne

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Baron Arthur Pence (with his battle wizard)

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Squire Gordon Zola

My little girl saw my painting on this last occasion and deicded that she’d like to get involved (Yes!) so here is here first (yet to be complete) painted mini.

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Painting and the V&A

Sorry MODers, yet another delay to posting my blog. I had meant to produce a number of smaller articles between my last instalment and this one, but as usual the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune have kept me from that goal.

One of the things that prevented me from taking time to type a quick report here and there was a sudden passion for painting and creating, both my Rhordian and Empire of Dust projects received some love, as did some smaller tasks on the side.

As I have become more involved with ‘Mantics’ Kings of war, the lure of building more than one army has taken hold, and having already started a Khemri army just as the Warhammer world blew up, I have decided to put the troops to good use. George Harris a good friend from HATE the Bethnal Green based gaming club gave me a large number of pre-painted GW Tomb King skeletons, and the unpainted body for the classic (if unloved) Nagash miniature.

After some cleaning and inking, I based the skellies into a horde and a Regiment. Nagash’s torso was due some love and reparation. I visited my bits box and after a little digging I was struck by inspiration, just by adding some ogre arms and a metal skull, I had the perfect parts for an ‘Idol of Shobik’ an animated statue to some long forgotten deity, adding some much needed muscle to my undead warriors.

One of the many ‘Kickstarter’ projects that I have backed this year was the Diehard miniatures: Oldhammer Fantasy figures. I received my rewards in the summer; and lovely sculpts they were. I decided to paint the old school wizard, and knight with great sword straight away as they were exactly what I needed for some Rhordian Characters. These miniatures were fun to paint and took no time at all to finish.

In-order to make my Rhordian’s a little different I have gone down the route of scenic basic, I wanted to portray the agrarian society that was depicted in the army book, and have been putting as much effort into my bases as I do with my troops, sadly this does mean I take even longer to finish my units. It’s definitely worth the effort however.

About two weeks ago the committee at my local gaming club, HATE, announced that we had been invited to attend the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, to play some games, as part of an active exhibit in the V&A’s conference ‘Parallel Worlds’. Our task was to represent the club by playing a game of two, and talk to any visitors that showed interest. Who’d pass that up. My good friend Daniel Read asked if I’d like to play a game, and after getting permission from the ‘Boss’, I put together a 2500 points list for Kings of War, using Elves with Rhordian allies. We had a great game using a scenario called ‘Invade’ where both players need to get their soldier to cross the table and into the enemy deployment area. Daniel had taken Dwarfs, who proved to be as tough as ever, but we managed to stop them making any headway, sadly this was true of my own forces neither army got past half way by the end of the game. If it had come down to kill points, I believe my opponent would have carried the day, which is what makes scenarios so fun, you really have to think about your strategy, and generally after you have already selected an army to play with. It is much more interesting than the place units, then move, roll and kill or a straight open combat.

Finally I wish to mention a website that is run by a close friend. It deals in games such as X-wing, Munchkin, and has a good range of ‘Mantic’ products all at good prices. If you need some gaming goodies please check out: www.kabgaming.co.uk

A tale of two battles

Hello MoDers, as I said in my last post, I’m making up for misses blogs by posting at least twice this month. I have had a number of Kings of War games these past months, I am really enjoying the game and looking forward to a campaign that is taking place soon at my local gaming club ‘H.A.T.E’.

Rhordia Vs Basilea:

Baroness Thorne looked across the fields to the forces approaching from the Hegemony. ‘What could those zealots want with Rhordian farm land’ she wandered. As she looked across the land soon to be trampled and bloody, she noticed something that appeared to be an old well, no it was an ornamental spring, was being the emphasis, for what had clearly once been a lovingly decorated fountain, was a crumbling example of its former glory. The Baroness noticed that a statue remained intact although covered in vines, and then it clicked. This must have been holy land for the Basilean’s and they’ve sent out one of their crusades to take it back, well not on her watch!

This was a game of 2000 pts to prove the science of Rhordia over the religion of Basilea. The thing I like about the Rhordian list is the combination of Halflings and Humans, it leads to a characterful army which is still quite effective, a horde of Spearlings is very difficult to shift and the volley gun is very effective. You have to get used to how the army plays but they are certainly fun, win or lose.

In this game my opponent had an impressive looking army with a Paladin riding a dragon, a horde of knights and units Ur-Elohi (basically angels). I had added my Iron Beast, a regiment of house knights and two hordes of Halflings (1 spear and 1 archer).

This was actually a well-balanced game in which neither side held back and did their best to get at each other. On my left flank an abbess on a Panther drawn chariot smashed into my musket block, nullifying their ranged attack. On my right flank my Halfling scouts and Iron beast smashed a unit of panther riders, and then saw off a unit of the Elohi. My Halfling Howitzer kept taking shots at the left flank where support was sorely needed, but they just could not hit the side of a barn door. My house guard tried to support the musket block who had bravely withstood the raging Abbess, but neither seemed able hurt her. Sadly this exposed the house guards flank and both units were crushed as paladins and knights added their weight to the press. The Dragon swooped in and annihilated the Halfling spears, only to get a rear charge from the mercenary unit who hurt the beast but could not make it flinch. The dragon and paladins struck back and it was goodbye Mercs.

With my left flank all but crumpled, the middle in stale mate between my Halfling Archers and another unit of the Elohi, all my hopes remained with the right flank in which Baroness Thorne had successfully vanquished the Basilean forces with the aid of her house knights, Halfling scouts and the Iron Beast, and were turning to face the stronger threat from the left flank. I felt in deep trouble however as the mighty Paladin riding Dragon were very much still in the game and it was the Basilean turn. The Dragon having had a taste of the plump halflings, he fancied some more, broiled in their little tank. This time the dice favoured the little men and the Dragon rider failed to shift the half-track. In their turn the Iron Beast counter charged the scaly fiend and turned into mush. This turn also saw the Flail carrying nuns get charged by the Baroness and her knights, suffering a similar fate to the drake riding paladin. This had been the final turn of the game, the stale mate between Angel and Halfling mid table continued all other troops were too far to reach each other meaning points wise the two sides drew, and would have to settle their grudges some other time.

Dwarfs, Rat-kin and Rhordia:  

Baron Pence stared out across the Northern marches, once a region of wealth and power for his family, until the seams of the gold mines ran thin, and the land had over time been converted to crop rotation, trying to put nutrients back into the soil. Sadly two races of Mantica seemed unable to forget this land was once rich in gold, and constantly vie over old mines in the belief they’ll discover a new load. This often leads to damaged crops and ruined soil. As soon as new came that the nearby dwarf kingdom has sent a new expedition to his lands he gathered what forces he could to drive them back to the mountains, he heart fell when he arrived to find the Dwarfs were the only ones with an interest in the mines.

This was a game of 1500 pts in a three way battle between Dwarfs, Humans/Halfling and Rat-kin. A marker was placed in the centre of the table to represent the game objective, which was to have as many units in the centre by the end of the game. The Dwarfs deployment centre was at the end of the table, the Rat-kin and Rhordians had the table corners opposite this. In order to prevent two players ganging up on the other, and the same person going last each time, we introduced an initiative role at the beginning of each round which certainly livened the game up a bit. We also set up our troops at the same time to minimise any advantage of seeing where we were placing our more valuable units.

I got the first go in the first round, and used this to get near both enemies. My plan was to hold the centre objective with my Iron Beast, and horde of Spearlings. My fast and hard hitting mounted units were to take the fight to the Dwarfs, while the Halfling scouts and Archer horde covered the right flank against the Rat-kin. This was the only round I got first go, and spent most of the game going second or third. It did not hamper me too much and my Rhordians caused a good amount of damage, but took a high toll in doing so. My Iron Beast underestimated a horde of elite Rat-kin troop, and was destroyed by the ravenous vermin. My Honour Guard vanquished a unit of hardy dwarf rangers, only to get into a war of attrition with some Berserker Broks that did not go the proud Rhordian’s way.

As the game wound down my right flank remained in the control of my Halfling Archer horde although the scouts had all been slain. My Baron had destroyed the Dwarf cannon and crew and in a canter back to the right flank he met up with the only other surviving character, a battle wizard, together they headed to the Halfling horde to regroup. Meanwhile the battle between Rat and Dwarf raged, with heavy losses on both sides, but when the dust settled the Rat-Kin had victoriously claimed the old mine shaft, the battle was theirs.

League of Rhordia – War Shrine

Hello MoDers, I had been a tad tardy with my blogs of late, but hope to make up for that with two blogs in quick succession. Both will be in relation to Kings of War, the first about the design and assembly of my Rhordian ‘War Shrine’ while the other will be a battle report on my most recent games.

My League of Rhordia forces have been doing well quite recently. However they lacked a little something, so I read through the army book once more for inspiration. Some units are still waiting on a delivery of Halflings from two kickstarters I backed (Westphalia miniatures and The Assault Group). Given this delay, I needed something else to focus on, something that I could start on straight away.

Then I found the War Shrine of Rhordia, an item that is at the disposal of the Dukes and Barons on the league, which not only offers a good supporting attack, but donates a lovely rallying bonus to nearby troops, and able to shoot off 5 lightning bolts per round. I had enough components in my bits box, High Elf chariot, Warrior priest(s), horses, all the necessary things (almost).

After getting a few bits together, I had a long think about the design. Many things change from the first Items I drafted in, the most noticeable being the replacement of the horse for two Fenrisian wolves, to represent the Aralez that the people of Rhordia are so close to. They certainly lend some atmosphere to the piece.

Given the fact that the war shrine can shoot lightning, I wanted there to be a clear scientific reason for this, so on the podium behind the statue I placed two tesla coils, with two further copper coils on the underside of the shrine to indicate electricity generated by the movement of the shrine. I also wanted to show the power help by the relic and decided ‘what better than arcing electricity’. The only way I could think of doing this was with thinly rolled green stuff.

As I started to assemble the shrine my priest’s hammer proved too big and I just could not put him in place. So out came the tin snips and it was back to the bits box where I found a 40K power fist that could easily pass as Halfling tech. Quickly attached and painted I though he looked much better, than before, (although I apologise to any traditionalist who preferred the original look).

Anyway that is all for this instalment, I won’t make you wait too long for the next one.

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My SALUTE 2016

Well yesterday was the ‘Steampunk’ themed SALUTE 2016, and I have to say that ‘South London Warlords’ did an excellent job as usual. (Although I still believe that it is a massive shame that the ‘Bring & Buy sale’ is absent from the event).

My good friend Nik Green came over from Austria, and after an early start courtesy of my little girl, we got ready for the big day. I wanted to get the ‘London Excel’ relatively early, so you get an okay place in the queue and there is that build-up of anticipation whilst you wait to be let through into the main hanger. We got there in good time and were in the middle of the second line of convention attendees.

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Once the theoretical starting pistol went off, I made a brisk walk to the main stand in the centre to add my paint contest entries. Nik made a bee line straight to ‘Ainsty castings’ as he had his eye on some treasure tiles they’ve produced that would be perfect in ‘Frostgrave’. We met up at the main stand and after Nik added his entries at the competition desk, we headed for the ‘Perry miniatures’, stall. Nik is a good friend of the Perry brothers from his re-enactment days, so always like to have as much of a chat and catch up as he can, not always easy as give the brother’s sculpting talents, it is a very popular place. They kindly allowed up to stow our lunch bag behind their counter, and then Nik and I went out separated ways, me to check out the ‘Frostgrave’, demo table, and Nik for a meetup with the ‘Oldhammer’ crowd.

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The scenery on the ‘Frostgrave’ table was phenomenal, snow covered ruins built into a mountain with bridges and other obstacles that could obscure line of sight, and therefore spell casting. At the back of the raised corner they had built a cavern with glowing crystal. Sadly I was too late to get into the first game, and after missing two other starts I decided to focus at looking at the other games taking place. There was a good mix of fantasy and sci-fi games going on as well as historical re-enactments, and games based on other genres. There was a rather impressive board based on ‘Mad Max’ and a really good siege of a medieval castle.

You may recall that some point last year I backed a kick starter that was run by Carl Brown through ‘Second thunder’, which was to fund a skirmish combat game with rules that had some flexibility such as stat creation for you war band, the game is call ‘Open Combat’, and Carl was present at SALUTE with Gav Thorpe passing out copies to those who had funded the campaign and to sell to those less fortunate. I have had a chance now to flick through the pages and I am really excited about getting to grips with this game.

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I did another circuit of the main hanger and found the ‘Bad Squiddo Games’ stand which was being run by the dice bag lady herself ‘Annie’, her ever present mascot ‘Baggie’ was also present, and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity for a photo. I have visited ‘Annie’s’ site a few time, there is a wide range of realistic female figures for gaming purposes be it fantasy, modern war or Sci-fi. Recently ‘Annie’, commissioned a range of sculpt that celebrate the sacrifice made by many women in the Russian army of the 1st world war, and they are really beautiful. If I played that genre I would certainly have picked up a pack, not that I could totally pass on the goodies on offer. I picked up a metallic ‘Mog’ a female orc warrior, a note book with a picture of a Russian sniper on the cover a badge of ‘Baggie’ and some crystals for scenery construction.

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My aim this SALUTE was to stock up on paints and brushes, whilst sticking within a budget I had set by putting money aside every month since January, this gave me a healthy £80 to spend. However I was not counting on how costly good paints and brushes can be. I also forgot how many stall had new shiny looking goodies on sale. I stuck to my guns and after a couple of  circuits I found a bargain, £1 for a tube of Vallejo paints I grabbed a handful which included a pot of metal medium, and gave the vendor a crisp £10. I followed that with the purchase of 4 ‘Army painter’ brushes, and a pot of ‘Army painter’, strong tone wash. £25 spent on my hobby needs; I had money to spend on some of my hobby wants. This started with a trip to Alex Huntley’s ‘Arcworlde’, stall to obtain some halflings, here I bought a trio of town guard who will make superb Sergeant figures in my League of Rhordia army.

Halfway through the day I checked the display cases for the painting competition entries, as usual there were so many great submissions, I felt less confident about my own contribution. Later this feeling was proven correct, as my entries did not make it into the final judging round. I was disappointed of course, but with all the entries left in the case with mine, fine examples of the hobby, I did not feel down hearted for long.

As usual with SALUTE the day flew past, and I was absolutely exhausted, my legs were grateful for the seat I got on the DLR home. I left ‘London Excel’ with good memories and a back pack full of goodies. The anticipation has already sparked for next year.

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